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EU Parliament Urges Member States to Keep China Arms Ban

The European Parliament has urged European Union states to maintain their almost 16-year-old arms embargo on China in light of what lawmakers call Beijing's lack of progress on human rights.

A resolution approved Thursday in Strasbourg also notes China's adoption of a so-called anti-secession law that authorizes the use of force against Taiwan if the island moves towards declaring formal independence from Beijing.

The European Union imposed the embargo in 1989 following Beijing's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. But late last year, EU member states agreed in principle to lift the restrictions by the end of June.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder again backed plans for lifting the ban. He told parliament the embargo is unnecessary, because China has changed much in the past 15 years.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.